Halloween Safety For Young and Old Alike

October 20th, 2017 | by RON BELL

Halloween Safety For Young and Old Alike

For many people, Halloween marks the start of the holiday season and is a way to have fun and attend costume parties.  

Pepper spray manufacturing company Sabre says: “This lighthearted holiday does not come without its share of potential safety risks. Assault, alcohol poisoning and illegal substance ingestion can sometimes run rampant around college campuses during Halloween. Not only are these threats probable, but oftentimes they occur at higher rates than the average student might realize.”

The company is one of the largest pepper spray manufacturers, equipping both consumers and law enforcement.

While pepper spray may not be the kind of accessory one might be thinking of for their costume, being safe should certainly be on the mind of the expected 179 million participants in this year’s holiday.

Especially, as State Farm Insurance and the American Automobile Association (AAA) say that Halloween is the most fatal day of the year for child pedestrians.

“Kids have a greater chance of being fatally injured by a car on Halloween than any other day of the year, including the Fourth of July and New Year’s Day,” said a study by State Farm. 

October 31 averages 5.5 child fatalities each year, which is more than double the average for other days at 2.6.

But, it’s not just kids. 

The National Safety Council (NSC) released a study in 2017 that showed that October ranked second in motor vehicle deaths by month and 6,700 pedestrian deaths and 160,000 injuries were reported.

“NSC research reveals about 17% of these deaths occurred when pedestrians improperly crossed roads or intersections. Lack of visibility because of low lighting or dark clothing accounted for about 15% of the deaths. Other circumstances varied by age: Darting or running into the road accounted for about 15% of deaths in kids ages 5 to 9 and 7% for those 10 to 15,” they said.


Stay Safe at Parties 

  • Don’t accept a drink (even water or soda) from someone you don’t know.
  • Don’t leave your drink unattended.
  • Go with a group and plan to leave with the same group.
  • Don’t walk alone after dark.
  • Make sure your phone is fully charged.


Source: State Farm Insurance, Sabre, and National Safety Council


Costume Safety

The National Retail Federation expects 2017 to be a record year for Halloween spending – topping out at $9.1 billion. 71-percent expect to hand out candy, 49 percent will decorate their home, and 48-percent will wear costumes. 

Keep these costume safety steps in mind:

  • Shop for costumes that are “fire-resistant”.
  • Make sure costumes and shoes are the correct size to prevent tripping.
  • Be careful wearing masks that limit vision.

 Source: State Farm Insurance, Sabre, and National Safety Council


Drinking and Driving

Drinking and driving should be avoided all days of the year, but especially on Halloween when there are more people on the roads than usual and the majority of them are children.

“When your tolerance level has reached it’s breaking point, resist the urge to keep drinking. If your body is pushed over the edge, you’ll risk side-effects like impaired judgment and extreme physical discomforts,” said Sabre. 

State Farm’s report also found that drivers ages 15-25 accounted for nearly one-third of all fatal accidents involving child pedestrians on Halloween.

“Don’t drink and drive. Drunk-driving incidents increase on Halloween. Motorists should be more responsible and know that this evening is especially dangerous,” added Consumer Reports in their road safety blog for Halloween.


Watch For Child Pedestrians

As already noted, Halloween has a high-risk of child fatality. In their excitement to get as much candy as possible, they may walk out into traffic or wander away from their parents.

State Farm’s study found that the “deadliest hour” was between 6:00-7:00 p.m. where nearly one-fourth of the accidents happened. More than 60% of the overall accidents occurred between 5:00 to 9:00 p.m. 

While keeping your eyes on the road might seem like the safest thing, over 70-percent of these child pedestrian accidents occurred away from intersections or crosswalks. 

Drivers are encouraged to go slowly through neighborhoods and yield to any and all pedestrians.

“Where there is one, there are likely to be other ready to cross,” warned Consumer Reports.

When backing up out of your parking spot to leave a neighborhood, it’s important to be aware if there are any children or others walking or standing behind the car. 

“Try to park in a spot where you won’t need to back up. But if you must, have an adult outside to make sure no children are in the way,” said Consumer Reports.


Be Careful of Open Flames

Fires are also a common cause of injuries on Halloween and even death and it can happen as quickly as you can knock over a Jack-O-Lantern or brush up against a candle.

Be careful of open flames, and if possible, use LED lights in decorations instead of real candles. 



A fun look at the statistics behind every facet of Halloween in the U.S.



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